• Blessed Are the Meek Article by Ken Jones

    FROM TABLETALK | June 2017

    It is not uncommon for commentators and Bible teachers to interpret the “blesseds” in the Beatitudes as meaning “to be happy.” The Greek work translated as “blessed” is makarios, and while “happy” is one of the ways it can be interpreted, in the broader context of the Beatitudes, happy seems to miss the mark. For one thing, being happy is a subjective emotional state, and surely in verse 11 being reviled and persecuted do not jibe with such a state. Furthermore, interpreting makarios as happy leads to the mistake of seeing the Beatitudes as a series of exhortations on … View Resource

  • Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit Article by D. Blair Smith

    Our family recently visited the beautiful and imposing Field Museum in Chicago. Its neoclassical edifice dominates the landscape. You can approach it from many different angles, but there is only one entrance. You might feel near to it, yet, depending on where you are in relation to the entrance, there is a good chance you are quite far from entering and seeing the treasures within. The Beatitudes present the beautiful structure of the character of Christ. There is no entry into knowing and appropriating His riches without first passing through His blessing of those who are poor in spirit. If … View Resource

  • Growing in Humility Article by Geoffrey Thomas

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2016

    There is no other way of achieving humility than by looking unto Jesus. Paul tells us, “He humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8). The Son of God humbled Himself. That was something extraordinary. But there is more. He was made in human likeness. God the Son in a stable, His diapers being changed, and His being washed and fed by a young mother, Mary. But there is more. He took the very nature of a servant. God washing feet. But there is more. As Donald Macleod states in A Faith to Live By … View Resource

  • Escaping the “Cage Stage” Article by R.C. Sproul

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2013

    My friend Michael Horton often comments on the phenomenon of “cage-stage Calvinism,” that strange malady that seems to afflict so many people who have just seen the truth of the Reformed doctrines of grace. We’ve all known one of these “cage-stage Calvinists.” Many of us were even one of them when we were first convinced of God’s sovereignty in salvation. Cage-stage Calvinists are identifiable by their insistence on turning every discussion into an argument for limited atonement or for making it their personal mission to ensure everyone they know hears—often quite loudly—the truths of divine election. Now, having a zeal … View Resource

  • The Fear of the Lord Article by Ray Ortlund

    FROM TABLETALK | October 2013

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). If that is so, and it is, then the fear of the Lord is never to be feared. This fear is not a barrier to growth but a breakthrough to growth and eternal fulfillment. But the word fear needs clarification, doesn’t it? After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18)? Yes. So, there must be two kinds of fear. One kind of fear is the fear that shrinks from the Lord in dread, that cowers from Him and turns away from Him … View Resource

  • Love by Submission Article by Phil Johnson

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Ephesians 5:21 poses a conundrum: Paul commends Spirit-filled Christians for “submitting to one another.” Isolate the verse from its context, and it almost sounds as if the Apostle teaches a kind of mutual, universal submission, without regard to any structured leadership, hierarchy, or chain of command—as if he means to declare all authority void. But in the very next verse, Paul expressly commands wives to be subject to their husbands (v. 22). Half a chapter later, he commands children to obey their parents (6:1) and slaves to obey their masters (6:5). Those injunctions aren’t followed by calls for reciprocal submission. … View Resource

  • The Power of the Broken Body Article by Michael Beates

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2013

    Mention the word church and a vast array of images enter the mind. A steepled building housing a congregation; a movement of God across the centuries and the world; “one, holy, catholic, and Apostolic”; “visible and invisible”; “militant and triumphant”; “local and universal.” More images come from the Scriptures verbatim. The bride of Christ, the temple of the Holy Spirit, the branches connected to the life-giving vine of Christ. But a most provocative and instructive biblical image is “the body of Christ.” We are tempted, especially in the West, to view this body as successful, full of well-ordered, well-dressed, well-mannered … View Resource

  • Flattery and Foolish Talk Article by John Sartelle

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    We are witnessing the deconstruction of a civilization. Across our land, the major institutions that are foundational to any nation are in a downward spiral, whether we speak of education, government, business, or the family. Isaiah and Jeremiah were observers of a similar destruction in their nation and wrote about it. One of the characteristics of that fall was the decline in the civility of everyday language. Isaiah said that the child was “insolent toward the elder, and the base toward the honorable” (Isa. 3:5). Their conversations did not demonstrate a godly respect for the position and authority of parents, … View Resource

  • The Preacher’s Character Article by Rick Gamble

    FROM TABLETALK | July 2013

    The Apostle Paul demonstrated how we can love God and others in our speech. He used words that could sting and rebuke as well as heal and comfort. His ministry was one of words—speaking God’s very own Word. His companion Luke painted a moving portrait that connected the importance of a minister’s words with his ministry and gives great insight on the preacher’s character. Paul had ministered the word successfully in Ephesus and called for the finest fruit of that work, the elder preachers, to come and hear his final advice (Acts 20:17–38). Paul gave an account of his work … View Resource

  • Going Outside the Camp Article by James Coffield

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2013

    It began as a friendly family game of Monopoly. I informed my son that he had landed on Park Place. His mind stuck on the words and started to spin: “Park Place, Park Place…” Over and over he repeated the words. I should have remembered—hard consonants at the beginnings of words often get stuck in his mind—and an obsessive-compulsive mind is one of the symptoms of autism. I’m not sure at what moment his mood changed, but his anger turned from himself to me—after all, I was the one who had said the phrase that was now bombarding … View Resource

  • Consider the Public Article by Robert Rothwell

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    Unbelievers, even though their hearts and minds are opposed to God’s truth, sometimes have more spiritual insight than we give them credit for. At least that is what I learned as a junior in college. As a religion major at a secular university, I often found myself in the middle of classroom debates about the inerrancy of Scripture, the exclusivity of Christ, and other matters. I wish that I could tell you I was always charitable and irenic in my attempts to keep teachers and students from turning the teaching of Jesus on its head. Unfortunately, my excitement for the … View Resource

  • Consider Your Opponent Article by Keith Mathison

    FROM TABLETALK | May 2012

    I became convinced of the truth of Reformed theology while attending Dallas Theological Seminary — the flagship institution of dispensational theology. Some of my fellow students accused me of being apostate when they discovered that I had rejected dispensationalism. Having donned my new five-point Calvinist uniform, I assumed an attitude that was patronizing and condescending toward those who remained committed to dispensationalism. Mockery became a chief weapon in my arsenal. Upon my arrival at Reformed Theological Seminary, I landed right in the middle of debates between students on topics that were unfamiliar to me — debates about theonomy, apologetic methodology, … View Resource

  • The Heresy of Self-Centeredness Article by John MacArthur

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2012

    Self-centeredness has no place in the church. That ought to go without saying. But from the dawn of the Apostolic era until today, self-love in all its forms has plagued the fellowship of the saints. A classic early example of out-of-control self-centeredness is seen in the case of Diotrephes. He is mentioned in 3 John 9–10, where the Apostle says: “I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority… . He is talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the … View Resource

  • Godly Boasting Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2011

    God loves it when man boasts in God, and God hates it when man boasts in man. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (2 Cor. 10:17). “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14). “The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up” (Isa. 2:11–12). There are … View Resource

  • Listening Before Answering Article by John Piper

    FROM TABLETALK | March 2011

    If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame” (Prov. 18:13). It is arrogant to answer before you hear. Humility does not presume that it knows precisely what a person is asking until the questioner has finished asking the question. How many times have I jumped to a wrong conclusion by starting to formulate my answer before I heard the whole question! Often it is the last word in the question that turns the whole thing around and makes you realize that the questioner is not asking what you thought he was. It is rude … View Resource